Search Intent and SEO: A Quick Guide

Search Intent and SEO

SEO is one of the best things you can invest in, in order to get traffic to come to your website. By using an SEO agency in Manchester UK to help you to rank higher in Google, you should attract more people to your website, who you can then turn into regular customers.

In order to get more traffic to your site, your search engine marketing company UK will optimise your content using the words that people will use to search for your products or services. However, to increase your chances of ranking well, and really convince people to buy from you, we have to take search intent into account.

What is search intent?

Search intent is the term used to describe the reason why a person is doing an online search (and is sometimes known as audience intent or user intent). It is the reason why they are doing that specific search. Yes, they want to find something, but it goes much deeper than that – it could be that they want an answer to a question they have, or they want to visit a specific website but can’t remember what it is called, or they want to buy something. All of these different types of searches are part of the user journey.

Over the past few years, Google has worked hard at refining its search algorithms in order to be able to pinpoint a user’s search intent, with the aim of providing them with the best answer to their query. They want to rank highly pages that fit the users’ search intent as well as the actual search term, which is why it is so important for us to make sure every page of your website, and every post you place on there, fits the intent of your audience.

4 main types of search intent

There are four main types of search intent:

#1 Informational searches

Lots of searches done on Google are done by people who are just looking for information. It could be information about the weather, the latest lockdown rules, when their favourite football team is next playing, even what the term search intent means! People who have an informational intent behind their search want to know about a specific topic or want an answer to a question.

However, it is important to remember that Google’s understanding of search intent goes way beyond simply showing searchers results that give them information about the specific term they typed in. It can tell if people looking for ‘mercury’ are looking for the planet or the metal. It can tell if people search ‘how to make a bird feeder’ that they want a video or images.

#2 Navigational searches

People searching with a navigational intent are looking for a specific website – so if they search for Twitter, they are looking for the Twitter site and not information about Twitter.

Raking highly for a navigational term is only beneficial, therefore, if your website is the site that people are looking for. People looking for Twitter want to land on the Twitter website, and not on Facebook or Instagram.

#3 Transactional searches

Transactional searches are those searches that are done with the purpose of buying something at the end. Lots of people buy stuff online, especially nowadays, and so are dab hands at browsing the web to find the right price.

#4 Commercial searches

This is similar to the transactional search, but tends to be people who want more time to think about things before making the actual purchase. They have the intention to buy in the near future, but want to use the internet to do their research.

Keyword Intent

The best way to determine search intent is to look at the words that people are using in their search queries. This also works the other way as well, as we can add intent-specific keywords into your content to help attract visitors to your site.

For example, keywords with transactional intent tend to contain words such as ‘buy’, ‘discount’, ‘deal’, or specific product names. Informational searches, on the other hand, may contain words such as ‘why’, ‘how to’ or ‘best way to’.

Optimising your content for search intent keywords

When we write content for your website, we are always thinking about making sure your landing pages fit the search intent of your audience. So, if they are searching for information, we don’t want to show them a product page first thing, but a blog article instead. However, if people are looking to buy, we don’t want them to land on a blog article, we want them to land on your shop.

We do this by optimising your product and service pages with commercial intent driven keywords – so product pages are optimised with transactional keywords and blog posts with informational keywords.

At the end of the day, it is sometimes difficult to determine what the search intent of a query is, and different users can have different user intents but still end up on the same page on your website.

It is crucial for you to ensure the content on your website fits the search intent of your audience, and the terms people are searching for. To do that, you will need the help of SEO MCR, website optimisation services in Manchester, as we can help people to land on informational pages when they are looking for information, and product pages when they are looking to buy one of your products.

About the author

Simon is best know for Co-Founding, a portal for student accommodation which attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Simon has 17 years online digital marketing experience and has widespread knowledge of building and/or optimising websites in most industries.

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